Mithun, Taskin picked for India ODIs
Uncapped players Taskin Ahmed and Mithun Ali have been called up to Bangladesh's 15-man squad for the three-ODI series against India in June. There was no room for medium-pacer Rubel Hossain as the selectors also picked Ziaur Rahman for his seam-bowling allrounder skills.
From Bangladesh's previous ODI campaign - the Asia Cup this year - Imrul Kayes, Arafat Sunny, Naeem Islam and Shafiul Islam missed out, while Tamim Iqbal returned to the squad after missing the five-nation tournament due to a neck injury.
Taskin, 19, is recognised as one of the quickest bowlers in Bangladesh. He recently recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him for nearly a year after the BPL in 2013. A few weeks after full recovery, Taskin made his international debut against Australia in the World T20. He was always earmarked by BCB coaches and was a regular in the Bangladesh nets from January this year, gradually revving up his pace.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mithun was the sixth highest scorer - 706 runs - in first-class cricket this season, including two centuries. He made his T20 debut against Sri Lanka in February this year.
Chief selector Faruque Ahmed said Mithun and Taskin had been picked to gauge the depth of the team's bench strength ahead of the 2015 World Cup. "We have kept more or less a settled squad but it is also important to get an idea about the kind of back up we have in our hands as we start preparing for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand," Faruque said. "Mithun [Ali] has been under our radar for a while. He has performed consistently in the limited overs format and in the longer version as well during the last couple of years and deserves a chance at international level.
"Taskin [Ahmed] is an exciting prospect and has already played a Twenty20 international. We thought it was a good opportunity to see how he performs in the 50-over game in home conditions against some quality batsmen."
Faruque said due to the number of pace options, and to balance the squad, they had to omit Rubel. He expressed confidence in Al-Amin Hossain and also felt Mahmudullah would be useful as a bowler, but did not make a mention of his poor batting form.
"Al Amin has bowled impressively since his debut and Mashrafe Mortaza is our most experienced campaigner. We also have a seam-bowling all-rounder in Ziaur Rahman. Because of these pace options and squad balance Rubel Hossain misses out. The spin department is well covered with Abdur Razzak, Shakib Al Hasan and Sohag Gazi. Mahmudullah is also quite handy and can do a job for his captain."
Rubel was Bangladesh's highest ODI wicket-taker in the 2013-14 season, but his expensive spells this year probably cost him a place. Out of six ODIs in 2014, Rubel gave away more than 60 on four occasions, but found a way to pick up wickets. Bangladesh are without their top two wicket-takers of the year - Rubel and Sunny - for the series against India.
Squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mithun Ali, Abdur Razzak, Masrafe Mortaza, Shohag Gazi, Ziaur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84